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Douglas County Museum

The museum is located 1 ½ blocks east of the square on Highway 14.  We invite you to come by for a tour.  We have free parking in the Tracy Murphy Memorial parking lot on the east side of the museum.

Edward Raymond Parker graduated from Ava in 1949.  His dad, C. W. Parker, was superintendent of schools.  Eddie began playing pool at age nine.  He was on the basketball team under Coach Lawrence.  As a teenager, he moved to Kansas City and was tutored by Benny Allen, a six-time world champion pool player.

After a tour of duty in the Navy, ‘Fast Eddie’ played pool throughout the US in the 50’s and 60’s.  While in Kentucky in the early 1950’s he became acquainted with Walter Tevis, who wrote a book entitled ‘The Hustler.’  Paul Newman played the hustler in a movie in 1961 entitled ‘The Color of Money.’  Actor Newman used an instructional videotape and pocket billiards workbook written by Fast Eddie to help him before making the movie.

In 1980 Eddie set a yet unbroken record by pocketing 22 balls in one legal stroke.  We have on display at the museum a copy of the letter of appreciation from actor Paul Newman, two cue sticks, balls, and a rack owned by Fast Eddie Parker.  Eddie married Peggy Sue ‘Patty’ Berry of Drury on July 15, 1950 and died in 2001.

Douglas County was named after Stephen Arnold Douglas, American statesman.  His father was a physician and died three months after Douglas was born.  Mr. Douglas was raised by a bachelor uncle until he was fourteen and then was thrown upon his own resources when the uncle married.  He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1834 and had a large practice.  He identified himself with the democrats.  Perhaps the most recognized thing about him is the Lincoln-Douglas debates that took place in 1858 for the office of Senator of Illinois.  He was hardly five feet tall, married and had two sons and two stillborn daughters.  He died of pneumonia at age 48.

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